Wes Anderson recently announced that his new stop-motion animation project Isle Of Dogs will be released April 20, 2018. It’s his second such stop-motion film, but it’d be incorrect to label his previous effort, Fantastic Mr. Fox, as a children’s film, just as it would be to call his child-focused romance Moonrise Kingdom a movie for kids. They are, like all of Anderson’s films, set in a twilight place between childhood and adulthood, where the kids are more wise than the adults and the adults look admiringly toward the children.
A video essay by Fandor digs into this career-long fixation, noting how, for example, on Bottle Rocket the director introduces the child characters with the camera at eye level with them. Almost all of the kids in his films are serious and perceptive, with maturity that greatly outstrips the adults’. The kids are often left looking on in world-weary dismay as those same authority figures react to life’s setbacks with childlike temper tantrums and outbursts of violence, presumably within an immaculately decorated fantasy space and soundtracked to a ratty-sounding, mono garage-rock track.